How Do You Make Life Work?

“I’m not telling you to make the world better… I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do…” ― Joan Didion

How DO you make life work? That’s an age old question isn’t it?

And if you think I’m going to give you an answer, you’re wrong. Because as far as I can tell, you have to discover for yourself that it’s not about what makes life work, it’s about what makes YOUR life work.

No one can answer that question for you, no matter how hard they try, or how much they THINK they know about how you SHOULD live it.

If you’re lucky or smart, you’ll figure out early in life how to listen to your own internal guidance system. If you’re like me and you’re not so lucky or not so smart, it could take a while.

In my case it took a while – a long while. I like to say I was slow to catch on because of my stubborn Irish roots.

The truth is that letting go of who I’d known myself to be for most of my life, to embrace who I always WANTED to be, was the scariest and most challenging leap of faith I’ve ever taken.

What if I really couldn’t be who I wanted to be? What if who I wanted to be couldn’t support me or take care of me like the “old me” had done?

I reached a point where I felt like I had two choices – go for it or give up.

Giving up and staying small scared me more than going for it. I had to surrender to desire. 

Desire pulled the pillow off my head each time I tried to go back to sleep. Desire kept me reading books and going to workshops despite my resistance to changing.

Little by little my eyes opened to a different world. And as my eyes opened, I discovered a different and more satisfying way to make my life work.  Not because anything changed outwardly, but because of the changes that were happening on the inside.

Bit by bit I got clear about things I believed about myself that weren’t accurate. I started to see a few of my blind spots.

Shining the light on my blind spots was painful at times. But what I saw helped me let go of petty problems and concerns and replace them with quality problems.

Quality problems are challenges you intentionally design. You base them on consciously asking yourself powerful questions

When you ask powerful questions, you put yourself the path of creativity and the unknown – which is where the juice and joy of living reside. To me, living creatively is living consciously and living consciously is a way to make your life work. 

That’s a pretty big shift in the way many of us think.

Living a creative life is risky.  It’s not risky in a life threatening way although it feels like that sometimes.

It’s risky because to live creatively, you have to be willing to enter unfamiliar territory. You have to learn to be okay with not knowing how it will all work out. You have to trust your desire to be, do and have more. You have to trust your own inner guidance system to carry you each step of the way on your journey to self-discovery.

And make no mistake about it. It is a journey.  When you are going for the gold in life, you can’t take shortcuts any more than you can take shortcuts to a getting gold medal at the Olympics. 

Living in the world versus enduring it is simple. But it’s not easy. In the end, the challenges are forgotten when you start living the life you were meant to live. That’s better than any gold medal.

Is this your time to go for the gold? Start with a Personal Insights Profile to help you unleash your inner champion. Contact me to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session to learn more.